Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: CavsJournal and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  E-mail alerts: Redskins and Sports  |  RSS

UNC offense designed to spread the ball to many different targets

On North Carolina's first offensive series Saturday against Clemson, Tar Heels quarterback T.J. Yates completed passes to five different targets. By the end of the first quarter, he had completed passes to six different Tar Heels. By the end of the first half, the number of different North Carolina players who had recorded receptions was up to seven, and the number of Tar Heels who'd had passes thrown to them was up to nine.

Six North Carolina players have caught nine or more passes this season. By contrast, Virginia had four players with nine or more receptions until tight end Joe Torchia was lost for the rest of the season because of a shoulder injury. So now that number is down to three.

"Yates runs their offense well, and he's very efficient at it," Virginia Coach Mike London said Monday. "We've got to do a good job of making sure that we take care of ourselves defensively in understanding some of the things that they're trying to do by playing better coverage, rushing, putting pressure on him. And then just knowing that a guy like [tailback Johnny] White is coming out of the backfield. He makes some big catches in some big games for them."

Indeed, White (5 feet 10, 205 pounds) is developing into a primary source of production for a Tar Heels offense that is not exactly prolific. During North Carolina's 21-16 win over Clemson, White rushed for 89 yards and two touchdowns. He also caught six passes for 90 yards. On the season, White is North Carolina's leading rusher and second-leading receiver.

As for Yates, the senior quarterback possesses the No. 1 completion percentage (65 percent) in the ACC and ranks No. 2 in the league in efficiency rating (141.7).

The Tar Heels will not wow you with a quirky offensive scheme, nor are they likely to pile up huge offensive numbers. North Carolina ranks No. 10 in the conference in total offense (356.4 yards per game), No. 11 in scoring offense (25.6 points per game) and No. 11 in rushing offense (122.4 yards per game).

But with Yates tossing the ball around to all areas of the field, North Carolina can be quite effective through the air. The Tar Heels are tied with Miami for the ACC's No. 4 passing offense (234 yards per game). Yates's top target is senior tight end Zack Pianalto (27 receptions, 257 yards), though clearly the quarterback doesn't lack for confidence in throwing to anyone offensive coordinator John Shoop sends out onto the field.

It appears as though Cavaliers senior cornerback Ras-I Dowling is at or nearing full strength, so it will be interesting to see how he and the Virginia secondary fare against the North Carolina offense. The Cavaliers rank No. 2 in the ACC in passing defense (151 yards per game allowed), though in the past two weeks their opponents have not had much reason to throw the ball given how generous Virginia has been to opposing running backs.

By Steve Yanda  | October 12, 2010; 7:40 AM ET
Categories:  Football  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Rising costs of non-conference games factoring into ACC football and basketball schedule expansion talks
Next: Tar Heels defense performing adequately in face of off-field turmoil

No comments have been posted to this entry.

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.




characters remaining

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company